Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #227--March 4, 2004


CAAR (Current Awareness in Aging Research) is a weekly email report produced by the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that helps researchers keep up to date with the latest developments in the field. For more information, including an archive of back issues and subscription information see:


I. Reports and articles:

1. GAO REPORT: "Medicare Home Health: Payments to Freestanding Home Health Agencies More Than Covered Their Costs," (US General Accounting Office, GAO-04-359, February 27, 2004, .pdf format, 25p.).

Note: These are temporary addresses. GAO reports are always available at:


A. "NIH Asks Participants in Women's Health Initiative Estrogen-Alone Study to Stop Study Pills, Begin Follow-up Phase," (US National Institutes of Health, March 2, 2004).

Go to the bottom of the press release to access more information about the Women's Health Initiative.

B. "'Care Managers' Help Depressed Elderly Reduce Suicidal Thoughts," (US National Institutes of Health, March 2, 2004). Note: See item 9B in this report for more information.

3. _MLR_ ARTICLE: "Labor force projections to 2012: the graying of the U.S. workforce," by Mitra Toosi (US Department of Labor, _Monthly Labor Review_, Vol. 127, No. 2, February 2004, .pdf format, p. 37-57).


The labor force will continue to age, with the annual growth rate of the 55-years-and -older group projected to be nearly 4 time that of the overall labor force; as the participation rates of older age groups increase, the older population's share of the workforce will rise.

Click on "Download full article in PDF" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

4. CMS PRESS RELEASE: "Review Shows Beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage Plans will see Better Benefits, Lower Costs," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, February 27, 2004).

5. DHHS OIG REPORT: "Omission of Drugs from the Federal Upper Limit List in 2001," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, OEI-03-02-00670, February 2004, .pdf format, 14p.).

From the Executive Summary:

This inspection looks at the omission of drugs from the Federal Upper Limit list in 2001. Ninety drug products were not included on the Federal Upper Limit list in 2001, despite meeting the criteria established by Federal laws and regulations. Medicaid could have saved $123 million in 2001 by adding 55 of the 90 drug products to the Federal Upper Limit list. This represents 30 percent of the $411 million Medicaid reimbursed for these 55 products that year. The remaining 35 drug products met the criteria for inclusion on the Federal Upper Limit list, but did not have any associated savings. OIG recommended that CMS take steps to ensure that all drugs meeting the criteria set forth in Federal laws and regulations are included on the Federal Upper Limit list. In their response to the report, CMS disagreed with our savings estimates.


A. "Cardiovascular fitness, cortical plasticity, and aging," by Stanley J. Colcombe, Arthur F. Kramer, Kirk I. Erickson, Paige Scalf, Edward McAuley, Neal J. Cohen, Andrew Webb, Gerry J. Jerome, David X. Marquez, and Steriani Elavsky (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 101, No. 9, March 2, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 3316-3321).

B. "Differential utilization of upstream AUGs in the {beta}-secretase mRNA suggests that a shunting mechanism regulates translation," by George W. Rogers, Jr., Gerald M. Edelman, and Vincent P. Mauro (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 101, No. 9, March 2, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 2794-2799).

C. "Tissue damage in the amyloidoses: Transthyretin monomers and nonnative oligomers are the major cytotoxic species in tissue culture," by Natalia Reixach, Songpon Deechongkit, Xin Jiang, Jeffery W. Kelly, and Joel N. Buxbaum (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 101, No. 9, March 2, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 2817-2822).

D. "NGEP, a gene encoding a membrane protein detected only in prostate cancer and normal prostate," by Tapan K. Bera, Sudipto Das, Hiroshi Maeda, Richard Beers, Curt D. Wolfgang, Vasantha Kumar, Yoonsoo Hahn, Byungkook Lee, and Ira Pastan (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 101, No. 9, March 2, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 3059-3064).

E. "Role for neuronal insulin resistance in neurodegenerative diseases," by Markus Schubert, Dinesh Gautam, David Surjo, Kojihiko Ueki, Stephanie Baudler, Dominic Schubert, Tatsuya Kondo, Jens Alber, Norbert Galldiks, Eckehardt Kstermann, Saskia Arndt, Andreas H. Jacobs, Wilhelm Krone, C. Ronald Kahn, and Jens C. Brning (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 101, No. 9, March 2, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 3100-3105).


A. "Effect of Intensive Compared With Moderate Lipid-Lowering Therapy on Progression of Coronary Atherosclerosis: A Randomized Controlled Trial," by Steven E. Nissen, E. Murat Tuzcu, Paul Schoenhagen, B. Greg Brown, Peter Ganz, Robert A. Vogel, Tim Crowe, Gail Howard, Christopher J. Cooper, Bruce Brodie, Cindy L. Grines, and Anthony N. DeMaria (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 291, No. 9, March 3, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1071-1080).

B. "Reducing Suicidal Ideation and Depressive Symptoms in Depressed Older Primary Care Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial," by Martha L. Bruce, Thomas R. Ten Have, Charles F. Reynolds III, Ira I. Katz, Herbert C. Schulberg, Benoit H. Mulsant, Gregory K. Brown, Gail J. McAvay, Jane L. Pearson, and George S. Alexopoulos (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 291, No. 9, March 3, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1081-1091).

8. _NEJM_ ARTICLE ABSTRAT: "Estrogen plus Progestin and Colorectal Cancer in Postmenopausal Women," by Rowan T. Chlebowski, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Cheryl Ritenbaugh, F. Allan Hubbell, Joao Ascensao, Rebecca J. Rodabough, Carol A. Rosenberg, Victoria M. Taylor, Randall Harris, Chu Chen, Lucile L. Adams-Campbell, and Emily White, for the Women's Health Initiative Investigators (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 350, No. 10, March 4, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 991-1004).

9. _BMJ_ EDUCATION AND DEBATE: "Synthesising licensing data to assess drug safety," by Klim McPherson and Elina Hemminki (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 328, No. 7438, February 28, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 518-520).

10. _MEDSCAPE_ ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Management of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in the Elderly," by Ramalingam Rathnasabapathy and Jeffrey E. Lancet (_Cancer Control: Journal of the Moffitt Cancer Center_, Vol. 10, No. 6, p. 469-477, via Medscape).

11. _JOURNAL OF GENERAL INTERNAL MEDICINE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: " Differences in Medicare Expenditures during the Last 3 Years of Life," by Lisa R. Shugarman, Diane E. Campbell, Chloe E. Bird, Jon Gabel, Thomas A. Louis, and Joanne Lynn (_Journal of General Internal Medicine_, Vol. 19, No. 2, February 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 127-135).

Press Release from RAND:

12. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION CONVERSTIONS ON HEALTH: "Kaiser Conversations on Health with AARP CEO Bill Novelli," (Kaiser Family Foundation, March 3, 2004, RealPlayer and Windows Media Player format, running time 54:00). Note: This Webcast features a discussion about drug costs and the recent Medicare prescription drug legislation. To access the streaming video click on the "Video" link. The Foundation will soon add a transcript of the Webcast to this page.

13. NBER BULLETIN: "NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health," (National Bureau of Economic Research, Winter 2004, .HTML and .pdf format, 4p.). "The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health summarizes selected Working Papers recently produced as part of the Bureau's program of research in aging and health economics.

Scroll to "Winter 2004".

14. KFF SURVEY RESULTS: "Selected Survey Findings on the Medicare Prescription Drug Law," (Kaiser Family Foundation, February 2004, .pdf format).

15. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO: The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows, for Feb 17. - Feb. 24, 2004, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

Mar. 2, 2004: Listen: Rags to Retirement
Feb. 24, 2004: Listen: Cancer Screening: What you need to know if you're over 50 (or not)

16. US NEWS & WORLD REPORTS ARTICLE: "A Fondness For Gray Hair," by Kim Clark (US News & World Reports, March 8, 2004).

17. FORBES ARTICLE: "Florida or Bust," by Ashlea Ebeling (Forbes Magazine, March 14, 2004).


II. Working Papers:

18. NBER:

A. "Changes in the Disparities in Chronic Disease during the Course of the Twentieth Century," by Robert W. Fogel (NBER Working Paper No. w10311, February 2004, .pdf format, 30p.).


Longitudinal studies support the proposition that the extent and severity of chronic conditions in middle and late ages are to a large extent the outcome of environmental insults at early ages, including in utero. Data from the Early Indicators program project undertaken at the Center for Population Economics suggest that the range of differences in exposure to disease has narrowed greatly over the course of the twentieth century, that age-specific prevalence rates of chronic diseases were much lower at the end of the twentieth century than they were at the beginning of the last century or during the last half of the nineteenth century, and that there has been a significant delay in the onset of chronic diseases over the course of the twentieth century. These trends appear to be related to changes in levels of environmental hazards and in body size. These findings have led investigators to posit a synergism between technological and physiological improvements. This synergism has contributed to reductions in inequality in real income, body size, and life expectancy during the twentieth century.

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

B. "Why do Americans Work so Much More than Europeans?" by Edward C. Prescott (NBER Working Paper No. w10316, February 2004, .pdf format, 29p.).


Americans now work 50 percent more than do the Germans, French, and Italians. This was not the case in the early 1970s when the Western Europeans worked more than Americans. In this paper, I examine the role of taxes in accounting for the differences in labor supply across time and across countries, in particular, the effect of the marginal tax rate on labor income. The population of countries considered is that of the G-7 countries, which are the major advanced industrial countries. The surprising finding is that this marginal tax rate accounts for the predominance of the differences at points in time and the large change in relative labor supply over time with the exception of the Italian labor supply in the early 1970s. This finding has important implications for policy, in particular for making social security programs solvent.

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address at the bottom of the abstract for full text.


III. Journal Tables of Contents (check your library for availability):

19. Aging and Mental Health (Vol. 8, No. 2, March 2004).

20. European Journal of Palliative Care (Vol. 11, No. 1, 2004).

21. Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (Vol. 59, No. 2, February 2004). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

22. INGENTA Tables of Contents: INGENTA provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

B. click on "browse by publication"
C. Click the "fax/ariel" radio button, type the Journal Name in the "by words in the title" search box and click "search".
D. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

Educational Gerontology (Vol. 30, No. 3, March 2004). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

International Journal of Ageing and Human Development (Vol. 57, No. 1, 2003).

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 52, No. 3, 2004).

Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect (Vol. 14, No. 1, 2002). Note:


23. AMEDEO MEDICAL LITERATURE: Note: "AMEDEO has been created to serve the needs of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, other members of the health professions, and patients and their friends. They can easily access timely, relevant information within their respective fields... All AMEDEO services are free of charge. This policy was made possible thanks to generous unrestricted educational grants provided by AMGEN, Berlex, Eisai, Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Schering AG."

A. Osteoporosis: Literature for the week of March 2, 2004:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of March 2, 2004:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of March 2, 2004:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of March 2, 2004:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


IV. Books:

24. NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS FORTHCOMING BOOK: "Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers," edited by David H. Wegman and James P. McGee (National Academies Press, 2003, OpenBook format, 305p.).


V. Funding Opportunities:

25. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE CENTER ON AGE AND COMMUNITY FELLOWSHIP: "The Center on Age and Community at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is pleased to announce a new, two-year, post-doctoral fellowship in aging research. The Center extends its strengths in interdisciplinary research and practice and in collaborations with our regional aging services network to our post-doctoral fellowship program." The deadline for application is April 15, 2004. Application materials are available in Word format at:


VI. Conferences:

26. THE GERONTOLOGY CENTER [BOSTON UNIVERSITY] ONLINE WORKSHOP: "Caring and Connecting: Building an Eldercare Interactive Knowledge Community," a workshop to be held March 29-April 9, 2004. The deadline for registration is March 22, 2004.


VII. Legislation Information Updates:


A. "America's Pensions: The Next Savings and Loan Crisis?" a hearing held October 14, 2003 (Senate Hearing 108-287, .pdf and ASCII format, 147p.).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "108-287" (without the quotes).

B. "Square Peg in a Round Hole? Disease Management in Traditional Medicare," a hearing held November 4, 2003 (Senate Hearing 108-295, .pdf and ASCII format, 29p.).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "108-295" (without the quotes).

VIII. Websites of Interest:


A. "Medicare Modernization Update," (Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services). Note: "CMS has created this Update to provide the public and other interested parties with up-to-date information on CMS' efforts to implement the new legislation. This update will be published monthly. It will contain information on what CMS accomplished in the past month as well as major activities scheduled for the coming month, such as key implementation dates and regulations being published."

You can sign up for email notification of updates to this site by going to:

B. "'The Right Answer' Ad Campaign," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, February 2004, Windows Media and Quicktime format). Note: "The Right Answer" is an ad campaign currently running on major broadcast networks to explain the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) to beneficiaries.


29. FDA DRUG DATABASE: The US Food and Drug Administration created a new web site (Drugs@FDA) to locate information on FDA approved drug products."Drugs@FDA makes all drug approval information available on one site so that users no longer have to visit several web pages for information on brand name and generic drugs. The database incorporates information from all parts of CDER's website, including Consumer Information Sheets, Medication Guides, labeling, and other information for patients. Eventually information on recalls, warnings, and drug shortages will also be included."

Press Release:




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology and
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
Rm. 4470A Social Science Bldg
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
Phone: (608) 265-9240
Fax: (608) 262-8400